BTR's High Visibility waterproof helmet cover is precisely that and while lacking the figure hugging profile, comfort and outright finesse of Gore-Tex models, comes in rather handy when God's metaphorically washing his tandem or pelting us with hail.
Packing small enough to reside unobtrusively in a medium sized wedge pack or jersey pocket, there's nothing particularly exciting about its materials or construction. We're talking common or garden canary yellow nylon with retro-reflective detailing that adjusts in seconds via draw string closure to accommodate pretty much any adult lid from Cromwell commuter to Roswell racer.
Cynics will suggest the thin, virtually opaque nature is indicative of the price and achieves less flattering effect atop sleeker helmets but it hasn't shown any builder's tarp fluttering tendencies when bustling along in blustery weather and offers welcome protection from 'ice cream' headaches.
Things do turn a little clammy given twenty minutes or so at more spirited cadences. This isn't comparable with the sogginess synonymous with old school cotton race caps when the mercury creeps past the mid-teens, although there remains familiar lag before fibres kick in, so a merino skull cap knocks both into a cocked hat.
Performance in persistent/showery conditions compares well to that of micro jackets; we're talking trace dampness rather than a royal soaking. Its yellow hue seems suitably extrovert in low light. Several mile-long shortcuts through overgrown bridle path and singletrack have provided some disturbing soundtracks, though fiendish foliage hasn't ripped ours to shreds and it doesn't object to low temperature tours de Zanussi either.
Basic but fairly cheerful wet weather cover
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Make and model: BTR High Visibility Waterproof Helmet Cover
Size tested: Yellow
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"High quality high visibility waterproof helmet cover. Elasticated so fits the vast majority of adult cycling helmets. High visibility material with additional reflective stripes down either side for additional visibility". I'd say cheap but cheerful and highly water-resistant (sewn not welded seams)
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100% nylon construction, one-size-fits all (adult helmets) draw cord closure, retro-reflective detailing.
Better than I was expecting and the fabric density suggests.
Not a patch on Gore-Tex but keeps the weather out without boiling one's brains.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall performance was better than I was expecting on all fronts and broadly similar to that of budget micro-jackets- easily slipped in wedge packs, pockets and/or panniers in case weather should turn bandit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Relatively inexpensive, convenient and reasonably effective.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not terribly stylish atop sportier lids.
Did you enjoy using the product? Indifferent.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly, if they were just looking for a relatively cheap, cheerful standby.
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)